Young people celebrate life by taking part in the 2018 March for Life in Washington. Parishes across the Diocese, including those in the Bayshore area, have local pro-life events planned in the month of January. In addition parishes and Knights of Columbus councils are sponsoring buses to the Jan. 24 national march. Jeff Bruno photo
Young people celebrate life by taking part in the 2018 March for Life in Washington. Parishes across the Diocese, including those in the Bayshore area, have local pro-life events planned in the month of January. In addition parishes and Knights of Columbus councils are sponsoring buses to the Jan. 24 national march. Jeff Bruno photo

Monmouth County faith communities and their local Knights of Columbus councils will be uniting in one common goal this January: to spread the news that all life is precious.

The Cohort 14 parishes of Our Lady of Fatima, Keyport; Holy Family, Union Beach, and St. Clement, Matawan, will host “Celebrate Life 2020!” a series of pro-life events set for Jan. 15-25. They are being joined in their efforts by St. Benedict Parish, Holmdel.

Events include a nine-day Novena for Life, with each parish hosting three evenings of prayer, which will conclude Jan. 23. A prayer service will also take place at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25 on the grounds of St. Joseph Church, 376 Maple Place, Keyport. Plans for that evening include a pro-life guest speaker, mini-march for life and showing of the movie “Unplanned.”

The novenas, which begin at 7:30 p.m., are scheduled to allow time for faithful to attend the Jan. 22 Rally for Life in Trenton and the Jan. 24 March for Life in Washington. Those unable to attend can participate remotely, stressed Our Lady of Fatima parishioner Gregg Savoy.

“People can take home personal home novena kits, which contain battery-operated votive candles, the ‘Gospel of Life’ by St. John Paul II, prayer cards and Rosary rings,” Savoy explained. “We are planning to live-stream the march and speaker as well.”

The pro-life program is open to any members of the community who respect the sanctity of life, stressed Savoy, of Jesus The Lord Council, Keyport. “This is an outreach for those Catholics separated from the Church, and also people of the community we can evangelize.”

His fellow Knights agree.

“Life is so important,” said John Gaffney, Grand Knight of St. Joseph Council, Keyport. “We need people pushing [the cause].”

Grand Knight Thomas Carr of Jesus the Lord Council said, “We are tasked to promote life. It is not just a Catholic issue; we want to invite anyone to come to these events.”

Neil Matthaey, Grand Knight of the Cardinal Newman Council, Matawan, said multiple groups from his parish planned to assist with the program, including Altar Rosary members, ushers, and the Right to Life committee.

Cathy Strauss, pastoral assistant in Our Lady of Fatima Parish, said the faith communities are thrilled to be working together. “We have to try to reach out and build our youth. The world is rough out there, and we can see what situations youth can get into. [The movie] can open up the eyes of the young, for they are the future of our Church. They are the next generation, and we have to keep them involved.”

For more information, see “Celebrate Life 2020!” on Facebook or contact Gregg Savoy at greggsavoy@yahoo.com.